Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

Peer Support Volunteer recounts latest training session


PAN … not just the emergency call ‘PAN PAN PAN’, but the Peer Assistance Network.

 A fantastic, knowledgeable, and caring group of volunteers met for another training day at NZALPA’s Auckland headquarters on 12 May.

It seems that the PAN message is getting through that we are here to support members. We’re here for any pilot or air traffic controller who needs either assistance or even just a friendly voice on the end of the phone when things are just not going right.

None of us is immune to the issues that affect our daily lives – from the seemingly mundane (but stressful to the individual) to the extreme – and the PAN Peer Support Volunteers (PSV) could be just the help that you or someone you know need in order to get back on track.

Allan Baker, our NZALPA and PAN psychologist, was the main presenter for the day’s training and once more shared his wealth of experience and knowledge. In addition to Allan’s input and guidance, we listened to a number of real experiences from the PSVs themselves. We heard about a variety of practical and useful strategies for doing what we do: helping our peers when they need it.

The ‘PAN PAN PAN’ analogy is perhaps more literal than just being a useful abbreviation:

It’s an urgent situation requiring priority assistance. We should feel just as comfortable to declare a PAN in our professional and personal lives as issues arrive, too.

If you think you, or someone you know, could do with a little assistance and perhaps guidance from a friendly voice on the end of the phone, make the call to NZALPA’s Medical and Welfare support team before it becomes a MAYDAY!

Jim Findlayson is a helicopter pilot, member of NZALPA and Peer Support Volunteer.

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